egtabite 318: VIDA – United Media’s unique addressable platform


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Background information

This week’s egtabite puts the spotlight on United Media’s latest innovation in the field of addressable advertising: VIDA (Video Dynamic Advertising). The sales house, which operates in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Montenegro, with headquarters in Luxembourg, officially launched the platform in June 2020 to leverage the scale and quality of linear TV and combine it with the targeting and measurement of digital.

With this addressable solution, United Media can both serve new categories of clients and offer additional opportunities to brands who already invest their advertising budgets on the sales house’s media outlets. VIDA – one of its flagship products – allows United Media to now successfully enter the crowded video and ad tech space.

EON technology

In its current form, VIDA delivers addressability on United Media’s live TV channels available across different delivery platforms and devices. The solution is purely based on video ad replacement and currently, no types of display ads, such as L-shape overlays, are offered.

Based on the award-winning end-to-end TV platform EON, VIDA works across all VIDA-enabled devices and delivery platforms – including EON set-top-boxes as well as apps for personal mobile devices, desktops and connected TVs. The solution was developed using almost exclusively in-house ad tech resources – with the exception of FreeWheel’s Monetization and Revenue Management (MRM) tool, which is a part of the ad-serving and ad decisioning engine.

At this stage, the platform operates as an internal solution and is not directly accessible for clients. Marketers can book their campaigns by providing the sales house with their budgets, the number of views and other criteria they would like to achieve regarding the specific audience segments.


VIDA uses technology, data and premium inventory to precisely target specific audience segments regardless of what (which channel/show), when (which part of the day), where (on EON set-top-boxes/apps) or how (on which devices) they are watching.

Since VIDA works across both STBs and apps, it offers both household-based targeting (one-to-many, who meet specific criteria) and device-based targeting (one-to-one). Clients can choose to target their campaigns towards individual personal devices or households, and several targeting options are offered, including geolocation, age, gender, income segments and content consumption.

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A unique solution for a specific market

United Media was forced to come up with several unique solutions, both in terms of commercial integration and technology – due to the specificity of the Adriatic TV market.

One of the challenges was that the addressable solution needed to allow the serving of addressable commercial blocks without knowing their exact start times. This proved very useful in the case of sports events: no matter when the natural break occurs, the sales house can replace the linear ad block with an addressable one.

An additional challenge was the fact that in the Serbian market, there is no standard spot length on TV – so commercials have a variable duration.

Since VIDA mostly uses the same creatives as those of “classic” linear, it needed to be able to accommodate clients’ existing ad formats to be used on VIDA, which proved to be a decisive advantage. Therefore, the solution employs various mechanisms to improve the flexibility in terms of ad duration and ad block start times while at the same time customer experience remains seamless.

Next steps

VIDA is positioned as an innovative and premium solution that allows for higher ROI on specific targets, which could not be reached in other ways. Currently, United Media has a pool of 20+ clients using the solution, and each of them uses (and defines) this product in a different way. It is reflected in the way they allocate their ad budgets. Depending on the type of client and the campaign format, clients may decide to make VIDA either part of their TV or digital budgets.

Our addressable solution is currently commercially available in Serbia. Gradually, we will expand it to other markets where United Media operates – this includes Slovenia, then in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. We also plan to include third-party TV channels within this part of our offer” says Marija Matić, Head of VIDA at United Media.

At this stage, VIDA allows for the replacement of linear ad blocks by addressable commercials on live TV channels (independently of the delivery method: STB or apps). In the next phase of the project, we will extend its capacities to time-shifted viewing, catch-up, VOD and additional ad formats (e.g. online banners).”